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nitty-gritty

[nit-ee-grit-ee] /ˈnɪt iˈgrɪt i/
noun
1.
the essential substance or details of a matter; basics; crux:
Let's skip the chitchat and get down to the nitty-gritty.
adjective
2.
fundamental, detailed, or probing:
nitty-gritty questions.
3.
direct and practical:
nitty-gritty advice; a nitty-gritty system.
Origin
1960-1965
1960-65, Americanism; rhyming compound of uncertain origin
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for nittygritty

nitty-gritty

/ˈnɪtɪˈɡrɪtɪ/
noun
1.
(informal) the nitty-gritty, the basic facts of a matter, situation, etc; the core
Word Origin
C20: perhaps rhyming compound formed from grit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for nittygritty

nitty-gritty

n.

"basic facts," 1961, knitty-gritty, American English, said to have been chiefly used by black jazz musicians, perhaps ultimately from nit and grits "finely ground corn." As an adjective from 1966.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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